THE GOLDEN CRAB
this time the apple which she received from the black man was of gold. But before the Prince went to the tournament he said to his wife, ' Now I know you will betray me to-day.'
But she swore to him that she would not tell who he was. He then repeated his warning and went away.
In the evening, while the Princess, with her mother and sisters was standing at the window, the Prince suddenly galloped past on his steed and threw her the golden apple.
Then her mother flew into a passion, gave her a box on the ear, and cried out, ' Does not even that prince please you, you fool ? '
The Princess in her fright exclaimed, ' That is the Crab himself!'
Her mother was still more angry because she had not been told sooner, ran into her daughter's room where the crab-shell was still lying, took it up' and threw it into the fire. Then the poor Princess cried bitterly, but it was of no use; her husband did not come back.
Now we must leave the Princess and turn to the other persons in the story. One day an old man went to a stream to dip in a crust of bread which he was going to eat, when a dog came out of the water, snatched the bread from his hand, and ran away. The old man ran after him, but the dog reached a door, pushed it open, and ran in, the old man following him. He did not overtake the dog, but found himself above a staircase, which he descended. Then he saw before him a stately palace, and, entering, he found in a large hall a table set for twelve persons. He hid himself in the hall behind a great picture, that he might see what would happen. At noon he heard a great noise, so that he trembled with fear. When he took courage to look out from behind the picture, he saw twelve eagles flying in. At this sight his fear became still greater. The eagles flew to the basin of a fountain that was there and bathed themselves, when suddenly they were changed into twelve handsome youths. Now they seated themselves at the table, and one of them took up a goblet filled with wine, and said, 'A health to my father !' And another said, ' A health to my mother !' and so the healths went round. Then one of them said :
' A health to my dearest lady,
Long may she live and well! But a curse on the cruel mother That burnt my golden shell !'